getting started with electronics

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by fachhoch, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. fachhoch

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
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    I like electronics very much , I love to create my circuits, write code , use electronics power to create handy stuff , I want to understand how circuit works and make my own circuits, please advice me what it needs to get started with electronics , is this a very big learning curve?
     
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    It is a very deep and long learning curve. Some people like to program microcontrollers (AKA µC). They come out with high quality projects with very little real understanding electronics, and don't know it. But it works.

    Others learn theory. We have an open source text book on the top of this page that is a good start.

    Yet others start building. The internet is full of ideas, and Volume 6 of that open source text book offer a lot of ideas.

    The one thing all these routes have in common is you must be willing to do a lot of reading. It is a must.
     
  3. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    There is no short cut to learning electronics. It begins with a strong love for mathematics, physics, science and engineering. Learn every step of the way. The more you learn the further you will go. The personal satisfaction is worth all the hard work you put into it. My 2 cents.
     
  4. Adjuster

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
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    It is a big subject. How much of it you will want/need/be able to cover is another matter. As Bill Marsden has advised, there are different ways of getting into it too, perhaps following a mainly theoretical or mainly practical approach, at least initially.

    It may however be better not to concentrate too much on either aspect, at least not to the exclusion of the other. By taking a more balanced approach, the practical work may be better understood, and the theory may be better connected to the real world.

    I have met highly qualified people who struggle to apply what they have learned at the University, and also highly skilled craftsmen who are hampered by an ignorance of basic theory. The necessary extra knowledge might be acquired later, but to me this does not seem to be the best way of going about things.
     
  5. Lundwall_Paul

    Member

    Oct 18, 2011
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    40 years later I am still learning.
     
  6. kelvinmead

    Member

    May 15, 2011
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    find a simple project, buy the parts, construct, repeat

    by far, the most annoying part is the collection of the parts...:p
     
  7. Adjuster

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
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    A simple project completed is more use to you than a complex one merely dreamed about. If you find that you really cannot obtain certain parts to make something, then it may be better to do something else. Sometimes it may be possible to substitute things, but this may be best avoided until you have gained a certain level of knowledge, unless you can obtain reliable advice.

    While it's sometimes said that to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, getting something going for the first time is a rare moment!
     
  8. fachhoch

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
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    I tried reading , finished couple of chapters in volume I, still lot more to go, I like to get hands on, I finished series, parallel, complex circuits. With this chapters can I start with any simple project? I need a project kind of baby steps where achieving a task will force me to understand the concept,please suggest me a project also a cheap one.
     
  9. K7GUH

    Member

    Jan 28, 2011
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    Try starting with a crystal set. This is arguably the most basic electronic project ever, and involves little in the way of high tech. The open source text books on this site can guide you further.
     
  10. ssutton

    New Member

    Sep 12, 2011
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    You said it yourself;
    "Getting started with electronics" book by Forrest Mimms. Great book, and you get to build the circuits as you go. I went this route and filled a trash can of burnt up ICs.........but today I design and build my own circuits and program microcontrollers as well.

    You have to get a scope and digital meter so that you can comprehend what is happening within each circuit that you build. Probe every point within all the circuits that you build and study it until you understand what is taking place.

    Scott
     
  11. Yako

    New Member

    Nov 24, 2011
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    I don't think that it is truly something that you can teach yourself very well from scratch. You need to go and sit in a classroom and be formally taught, which is what I did back in 1998.

    I did just under 3-years, I have read 2 large books and many small, and I think that I might know 3-percent of it all after all these years.

    Good Luck!
     
  12. ssutton

    New Member

    Sep 12, 2011
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    The goal for me was never to be able to do it all. I had a very specific purpose for learning electronics, industrial control. So I became familiar with digital and analog devices that would allow me to control the machines that I work with. One thing that I did do was to dissect every industrial control circuit board that I could get my hands on (I had access to many of them), reverse engineering and scoping the board in operation. I continue to learn every time I build up a circuit.

    Scott
     
  13. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Funny you should mention that. I kept most of my school textbooks (a wise decision, the only one I let go I found 20 years later). I was looking at a Blue M oven temperature controller, and it looked pretty familiar. Went to my industrial controls text book and there it was! Wound up rewinding the small transformer (and gluing the core together again) that controlled the traics to get it working again.
     
  14. Yako

    New Member

    Nov 24, 2011
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    Oh I have mine too. I even have old reports.

    A grades when I studied and C grades when I did not.
     
  15. Adjuster

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
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    There is something in that, but it is a generalisation which ignores such things as previous schooling, general ability to learn, and perhaps most importantly the degree of motivation. It is certainly true that an older adult with little knowledge of general science might have a hard time learning very much at all of it, particularly if they had only average or lower basic aptitudes for the work.

    On the other hand, some people can and do learn a remarkable amount about things they have never been formally taught, particularly if they have a good grounding in some underlying subjects, including Mathematics and Physics in the case of Electronics.

    Anyone who has been involved with (for instance) apprentices will know that there are some who will never "get" things, however much training they get, others who plod away at their studies and get there in the end, and a few who seem to find the subject comes more naturally to them.
     
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